S is for Susan Cain...Last month, I wrote a post associating "quiet" behavior with positive writer characteristics. (And by no means was I suggesting that extroverts aren't good writers- I believe both introverts and extroverts can make excellent writers.) Anyway, many writers commented on this particular post and it was eye-opening to know how many of us have received negative and unfair feedback for being "quiet." Let me go on to say that I consider myself both an extrovert and an introvert. I can be vocal and outgoing, and I can also be mellow and reserved. My persona often depends on my mood and where I am, who I'm with. I have many friends who are extroverts, and I also have friends who are introverts. But while I find that extrovert qualities are often praised, I find that introvert qualities are often frowned upon. And that really annoys me.
Shortly after publishing my post, I found a video segment on CNN featuring Susan Cain, author of QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING. In the 19 minute-long video, Susan gives a talk to a crowded auditorium about the power that introverts yield.
Susan shares a childhood experience about attending a summer camp where rowdiness was encouraged. When she went off to read by herself, a counselor chastised her for not showing "camp spirit" and tried persuading her to be more outgoing. Such was one of many experiences Susan has had where the world showed her that extroversion is valued more than introversion.
Susan also reveals how psychology studies have shown that the most creative people also come with a "streak of introversion." She names Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Suess, as an example of someone extremely creative who was actually such an introvert he didn't like to meet his fans because he was afraid children would expect him to be "a jolly Santa Claus" though he was actually more "reserved."
There is a lot of juicy stuff shared in Susan's talk that would interest both introverts and extroverts. Check it out here.